Branding isn’t only meant for celebrities, billionaire CEOs and visionary leaders.
Whether you’re looking for a new job, planning to start your own business or get clients for an existing venture, creating a powerful personal brand is really helpful.
Whether you accept it or not, you already have a personal brand. Its based on what people think of you, how they perceive you from your Google search results, your LinkedIn profile and your professional communication. By controlling the narrative, and how the world sees you, you can take charge of your personal brand.
In this video, we’ll go through the 7 steps that will get you on your way to creating a powerful personal brand within weeks.
- Craft your brand statement
As author Simon Sinek says, "People don't buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” Your brand statement is a combination of your career story, and your professional vision.
I have an article on how to write your personal brand statement.
2. Find out what makes you unique
You can’t be known for every single thing you do - professionally and personally. Research your niche, and find you how you will differentiate yourself.
To quote Ash Ali, the author of ‘The Unfair Advantage: How You Already Have What It Takes to Succeed, “It's not about focusing on the negatives, it's about knowing the realities and leveraging the unfair advantages that we do have to help us live our best lives.”
Map your passions, skills, values and beliefs to create a unique reflection of yourself that you can project.
3. Define your audience
You can’t appeal to every single person on earth, and you shouldn’t. Define who you can help you in your professional journey, and who can benefit from your professional insights.
For example, if you’re a software engineer with close to 10 years of experience working for technology companies, you might want to appeal to CTOs, entrepreneurs looking for Tech Leads and recruiters hiring for tech leadership. Similarly, freshers in tech roles would gain from your professional experience and insights.
These are the 4 audience buckets that will create your target audience.
4. Define your brand messaging
Brand messaging is not the same as a brand statement. A brand statement is a simple and clear outline of your past experience and future aspirations. However, brand messaging is the underlying message that you want to consistently reinforce in your personal branding efforts.
A great way to think about brand messaging is what do you want your target audience to think about you in the most ideal scenario. Remember, consistent brand messaging helps build trust and credibility with your audience.
5. Don’t try to fake it.
Your personal brand is not meant to deceive others. You don’t have to feel the pressure of putting up a fake persona that’s exactly opposite to who you are. In a world full of copies, be original. Embrace your uniqueness - it’ll be your weapon to get others to pay attention to you.
Figure out how you like communicating - are you more casual, or do you prefer to stay professional? Are you quirky, or sombre? The more authentic you are, the more likely people will like to hear what you have to say.
6. Get a professional website and email ID
If you don't already own your personal domain name (yourname.com), go to GoDaddy or Google Domains and reserve it right away. Try simple website builders like Wix and Squarespace to edit a portfolio website template, and link it to you personal domain. If you buy your personal domain from Google Domains, get a professional Gsuite mailbox as well - firstname.lastname@example.org.
It doesn’t cost much, it doesn’t take much time either. There’s no excuse not to develop your own website, and not have a email@example.com type personal email ID for professional purposes.
7. Get your social media sorted
In today’s day and age, having a social media presence is critical to building your online presence. Clean up your social media feeds with tools like Brand24, and use tools like knowem and NameChk to verify if your username is available on social media. Claim your social media profiles and share useful content on one or two channels regularly.